Gamer Diary Ar Tonelico II 2: Electric Boogaloo

A few months ago I wrote a gamer diary about the game I was playing, Ar Tonelico II: Melody of Metalifica, but was forced to stop because the game wasn’t functioning correctly. Every time I engaged in a boss fight with the robot Raki, after the 3rd turn the game would freeze, and I could never get passed it. I wasn’t sure if there was an error in the game, a defect in the disk, or a problem with my Playstation. Discouraged, I put the game to the side.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled onto a bit of luck. At a goodwill, I found a Playstation 2 with its AV cord, and two controllers (no power cord, unfortunately) for 3 bucks. The system was a bit wonky, since it could read PSOne discs and DVDs just fine, but aside from my Final Fantasy X-2 disc, it wouldn’t play any PS2 games. With a pile of half-working electronics, I decided to finally get off my lazy butt and go to my local Used Game Store. I asked to have my systems cleaned and asked if I could borrow one of the stores’ PS2s so I could see what was wrong with my game, hoping that my game was simply scratched rather than defective. After a bit of playing around, it turns out the disc did have a scratch in it, and after cleaning it I was finally able to defeat Raki.

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As it turns out, Raki was actually very close to the end of the game. In fact, the final boss fight was in the room directly behind Raki! I was prevented from playing the game right before the finish. I’m glad I took the time to get the disc cleaned finally because the final fight and the ending of the game were quite good. I didn’t actually see it coming and even with loading up EX attacks, Replakia and Sychrocity it still took a few turns to take out the final boss. I ended up getting the Luka ending because I liked her character best. Much to my surprise, Ar Tonelico II actually ends with a cliffhanger, where {redacted} tells {redacted} to seek out the final tower in order to go after {redacted} who had escaped during an earlier fight. I found this very interesting as the original Ar Tonelico didn’t have such a set up, so I guess some time during the game’s development they decided to make Ar Tonelico a trilogy. Of course I immediately went to see out the third game, Ar Tonelico Qoga. I ended up getting it as a Christmas present. So that will work out nicely.

The Ar Tonelico franchise is definitely an interesting one. While they definitely fall into the pervy category with its fan service-y costumes, innuendo laden dialog and suggestive attacks, they are also surprisingly deep games with a lot of interesting mechanics and some really cool lore. Problem is the translation has some problems because there are typos EVERYWHERE. Other than a few glitches here and there, the Ar series has rapidly become one of my favorite RPG franchises. The original two games are sorta hard to find for a good price now, so hopefully now that Tecmo Koei has absorbed Gust, the games original developers, they’ll release a nice compilation of the first two games for the PS4. And hopefully KT would actually localize said compilation because they decided not to localize part of the new Ar trilogy, Ciel Nosurge. I’m still bitter about that.

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